BTU Endorsements: Were Deals Made?


If the Broward Teachers Union is for ‘em, vote against ’em.

That’s my motto.

It is unfortunate, because some of the candidates the BTU is backing are good candidates.  It’s just that I am very suspicious of the motives behind their endorsement.

Were deals made?  If so, how much will those deals cost taxpayers?

The teachers union has recommended voters oppose every incumbent running with the exception of Phyllis Hope.  And they didn’t exactly give a resounding support to Hope, giving her a co-endorsement with Laurie Rich Levinson.

Why the co-endorsement?  

Maybe because of Levinson’s middle name “Rich as in state Sen. Nan Rich, the future Democratic leader of the Senate.  The union needs Rich’s help every day in Tallahassee.

The union rejected incumbents but they have stood up to the BTU’s ridiculous request for a pay raise.  The union wants more pay at the same time teachers are being laid off and the system has a $140 million deficit.

Don’t get me wrong.  There is a lot of problems with the School Board.  A lot of problems.

There are good reasons to reject every incumbent. Reason number one: The Board has been a cesspool of corruption for years.

The union now is talking a lot about cleaning up the School Board.  They are suddenly Born Again corruption fighters.

Where was union boss Pat Santeramo and his cronies for the past decade? 

Oh, I remember. While teachers were home correcting tests and preparing for class, the bosses were out drinking and paling around with Board members.

The BTU was part of the cozy little club at the School Board.  They didn’t challenge the status quo until the recent economic downturn put them on the defensive.  

Remember that the biggest school expense is personnel.  A union endorses a candidate for only one reason  it believes it will get more in salary and benefits from them.

That money will come out of your pocket.

If the BTU is for ‘em, vote against ‘em.

BTU Endorsements:

District 1: No endorsement

District 2: Patti Good

District 4: No primary endorsement.

District 6: Hope and Levinson

District 7: Nora Rupert, a teacher at Piper High.

District 8: Nick Sakhnovsky, who has been a tough critic of the district’s business practices.  He is a great candidate.  I believe Sakhnovsky should reject this endorsement and cut all his ties to special interests.

5 Responses to “BTU Endorsements: Were Deals Made?”

  1. hbyaah says:

    Is this your opinion about union endorsements on all races across the board?

    FROM BUDDY: Unions are a special interest.

    It has become clear to me in recent months that union benefits, especially pensions and health care, are bankrupting government. The unions endorse candidates they believe will preserve or expand these benefits.

    I have become very suspicious of union endorsements.

  2. Where Was Buddy? says:

    I never read you complaining about unions and their benefits in the past. Why not?

    FROM BUDDY: Actually, I have been writing about this for years.

    The problem has gotten worse with the downturn. The private sector is cutting back benefits and many employers have eliminated pensions. Meanwhile, government employees get more. It’s wrong for struggling taxpayers to continue to pay for outsized public employee benefits at the same time services are being cut.

    Just read this one this week from a Los Angeles TV station:

    “Pension reform has been tried for years in Sacramento, even this year. But the proposals have always changed. The Bell (California) scandal, though, may finally give pension reform the momentum it needs.

    On their first day back from summer recess, state lawmakers are rushing to address the pay and pension scandal brought on by the small Southern California city of Bell, where the now-former city manager Robert Rizzo made nearly $800,000 a year.

    His public pension benefit is in the neighborhood of $600,000 a year.
    “He is the poster child, whether he likes it or not, for this kind of reform. And so we are going to push it here in Sacramento,” said state Assemblyman Hector De La Torre (D-South Gate).

  3. Nick Sakhnovsky says:

    Thank you for the strong but kind words, Buddy. I believe that the teachers appreciated my 30 year background in education, as well as my consistent stands for ethics and reform. I can assure you that there was no quid-pro-quo in receiving the BTU endorsement. No individual, candidate, or group is perfect, nor should an ideology determine an entire agenda. The fact is that this school system — in which every taxpayer has a stake — is in serious need for structural and policy reform. It will take real leadership to get all stakeholders — parents, educators, businesses, taxpayers — to work collaboratively. Otherwise, most assuredly Tallahssee will impose a solution, which I thnk all would regret. There is a great op-ed piece on the need for collaboration by the Miami-Dade superintendent of schools in today’s Miami Herald Op-Ed page. I also ask folks to please check out or this link


  4. mustbecrazy says:

    Bottom line, they all have to go. We need fresh blood, fresh ideas all around. We need a board with common sense and without agendas that include advancing the finances of their buddies and themselves. We need people that will look at educational models from around the nation, which are successful and implement them here.
    We need a leader, not a Notter, which knows the right thing to do and has the balls to do it. We need a teachers union that takes off their blinders and sees that there are no funds to give raises, that the private sector hasn’t seen raises in years and that we are already having staff take furloughs rather than give layoffs.
    We also need to get out and vote and know who to vote for, just because someone has money and a flashy campaign doesn’t mean they are the right person to vote for.
    We need you, Buddy, to give us an unbiased low down on each and every candidate so we can make an informed decision as who to vote for.

  5. Broward Voter says:

    You would get more votes if you would declare yourself independant of the BTU endorsement.
    Your intelligence and passion for the children of Broward would stand in it’s own right. But unfortunately, you look like a union puppet.